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Former Phoenix Catholic priest facing sex crime charges after fleeing US

(Pexels)

PHOENIX — A former Phoenix Catholic priest is facing multiple sex crime charges after being returned to Maricopa County by U.S. Marshals from Italy.

Joseph John Henn, 70, is facing multiple counts of child molestation, attempted child molestation, sexual conduct with a minor and attempted sexual conduct with a minor for crimes allegedly committed in the late 1970s to early 1980s.

During the time of the reported crimes, Henn was a Father in the Salvatorian Order of the Catholic Church in Phoenix.

“Pursuing justice for crime victims is a constant source of motivation for law enforcement and prosecutors no matter how long it may take or how far we have to go,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a press release.

“The recent arraignment of Joseph Henn illustrates our commitment to justice and further reflects the reality that neither position nor title will shield someone who harms children from accountability.”

Henn, who was originally indicted on charges in 2003, fled to Italy to avoid prosecution. He was arrested in Rome in 2005 before he was able to escape extradition.

On May 29, however, Italian law enforcement officials found Henn in Rome, taking him into custody. Deputy U.S. Marshals traveled to Rome where they took Henn back to Arizona.

“Child sexual abuse is a major issue in the United States and the world,” David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona, said in a press release.

“The United States Marshals Service will always place a high priority on assisting federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies in locating and apprehending fugitive sex offenders.”

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